"Barns" and "Tree: Warren, Maine"
by Susan Forbes Hansen
The Black and White Season
Photographs by Susan Forbes Hansen
Homer Babbidge Library Gallery on the Plaza
Curator: Jean Nelson
If you know Susan Forbes Hansen’s name, it’s probably because
she’s been broadcasting folk-music programs on the radio for more
than 30 years. But she’s been taking pictures since her father gave her
a Brownie box camera for her ninth birthday, and she’s rarely without
a camera in her hand or her bag or her car or her kayak.
Hansen’s black and white winter-image work began simply enough—
she started using the photos for her holiday greeting cards. Over the
years, some recipients collected these 5 x 7 pictures, and others asked
for enlargements. Priscilla Herdman, Anne Hills, and Cindy Mangsen
chose her winter scenes for the covers of their CDs, Voices of Winter
and At the Turning of The Year. Non-winter photos have been used as
CD-art by Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters, Cindy Kallet, and Kallet/
Epstein/Cicone, and two images have been used in The Cindy Kallet
Although Hansen doesn’t put her cameras away in the more colorful
seasons, she loves the black and white season. And although she has
entered the digital age, she thinks the old technology of high-speed
film and red filters works best to represent the beauty of winter. The
foliage is gone, the leafless trees are nearly transparent, and the shapes<
of streams and hills and old roads are exposed. Winter’s sharp
contrasts and limited palette have always drawn her out into the cold
woods and trails and meadows.
Susan Forbes Hansen has hosted The Sunday Night Folk Festival on
WHUS at The University of Connecticut since August 1979. Other
programs have included Valley Folk at WFCR from 1985 to 2007 and
In Town at WNPR from 1987 to 1989.